To increase web traffic, position you as an expert in your field, and engage with readers, SEO blogging is one of the most effective tactics. SEO blogging is a strategic form of writing, and it requires specific technical elements be woven into the prose so that the needs of search engines (such as Google or Bing) are considered alongside the needs of human readers. Yet SEO blogging is not an obvious or inherent skill, and we often see businesses struggle with starting and maintaining a successful blog. We wrote this quick tutorial identifying and defining the elements of a successful blog post, from headline to tagline, to increase web traffic.
After several months of blogging, one of our clients saw a 95% increase in organic traffic.
First, let’s state the obvious: Blogging helps drive traffic to your website.
- Companies that blog receive 55% more traffic than companies that don’t (Simple Marketing Now)
- Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI (Hubspot)
- 82% of marketers who blog consistently see positive ROI (HubSpot)
Are you convinced yet? Read on.
How do I publish a sizzling blog post that excites readers and boosts my search engine optimization (SEO) so that I can increase web traffic?
- Write a juicy title. What would make you click and read your post? Emphasize what the reader will gain from reading it, not what they must do or what you offer. Blog titles with 6-13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic, according to HubSpot.
- Use subheadlines in <h2> font size. In WordPress, select your subheadline text, then click on the Paragraph drop-down menu, and select Heading 2. Google and other search engines give greater weight to the words in this Heading 2 or <h2> font size to indicate the topic of a blog post. So if you are trying to “rank” for the search term “how to make gnocchi at home” then the words how to make gnocchi at home should appear in your headline and also in your <h2> subheadlines.
- Use bullets and lists! This increases readability. Many readers will want to scan your blog post before they read it to find out if the post contains what they are looking for. Or they may just be interested in part of your blog post, so bullets and lists (along with subheadlines) allow them to quickly zero in on the information they seek. Some 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts, according to HubSpot.
- Encourage engagement. Make your post dynamic and engaging by asking questions. If you or a team member have graphic design skills, use graphics and interactive web design to sustain attention. Here’s a graphic design blog that does this really well.
- Write in a conversational voice. While blogging is more formal than social media, it is less formal than a white paper. Blog in the same voice you would use when speaking with your grandmother. Polite and well-mannered, yet familiar.
- LINK! Include external links (to websites other than your own) and internal links (to other pages on your website). This helps to increase web traffic because you are building an online community via linking.
- Write 600-1200 words for each blog post. At a bare minimum, write 300 words, and then make sure your next few blog posts are longer. A 600-1,200 word blog post is long enough to provide in-depth content on a well-defined topic. If you find yourself getting really excited about expanding a topic, break it up into several smaller, related posts, and link internally to them, creating a mini-series.
- Use images. We recommend publishing at least one captivating image per blog post. Create or find additional images to give readers a visual pool to enjoy until they dive into the next block of text. Remember, we have short attention spans and are easily distracted if a post whiffs of boring. For tutorials, additional images (to illustrate the steps) are key. Fact: Blog articles with images get 94% more views, according to JeffBullas.com.
- Optimize your images. This is easier than it sounds. Simply edit the image file name from something like IMG_3948.jpg to something more like newport-ri-restaurants-hamburger-and-beer.jpg. This is an easy SEO opportunity to increase web traffic because Google and other search engines consider file names when they are looking for the best content to match a particular search.
- End with a “call-to-action”–or what marketers dub a “CTA”–with links. Tell readers exactly what you want them to do and make it super easy to do it. A CTA for your blog post may be to read another blog post, to join your email list, or to continue the conversation on one of your social media channels.
Would you love to regularly publish high-quality posts on your site, but lack the time or energy?